Develop a solid grounding in the principles of soilless cultivation of plants. To successfully grow plants with hydroponics, it is essential that you have a good understanding of how the plant grows, so that you can control the temperature, water, oxygen, nutrients etc. in the root zone.
This course is a good starting point for those who have little
experience in horticulture or hydroponics and whose main interest is in
growing AT HOME. Unlike our other hydroponics courses, this course is NOT intended
for commercial growing in any way. You will learn the theory behind
hydroponic culture, as well as receive first hand practical experience
as you set up your own basic hydroponic system.
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
WHAT IS HYDROPONICS?
Hydroponics can simply be said to be the process used to grow plants without soil. It literally means ‘working water’. The grower is taking ‘control’ of the plant's root environment, and losing the benefit of 'mother nature's' finely-tuned mechanisms which normally control that part of the plant's environment. A hydroponic grower provides the optimal levels of food and water that plants need for growth in the form of nutrient solutions. They can also control the environment in a variety of ways to influence plant growth, such as by providing artificial light, humidity, or by manipulating temperatures.
Hydroponics is not necessarily an easier way to grow plants! It is a more controlled way of growing plants!
The problem with soil-grown plants though is that often nutrients, water, air and other conditions are not present at optimal levels for plant growth. Hydroponics allows the grower to successfully manipulate plant growth by taking control of the functions which are usually handled by the soil. Instead of using soil, hydroponics uses an inert growing medium, such as clay pellets or coir, which supports the plants and their roots. Water and nutrients are then provided to this medium in the form of nutrient solutions which are absorbed by plant roots.
What is in a Hydroponic System?
There are many different types of hydroponics system, but they are all commonly made up of some (or all) of the following components:
- Reservoir or water tank - this is the water and nutrient supply
- Water pump - to pump water around the system (including a timer)
- Air pump or bubbler - to keep water aerated (oxygenated)
- Grow beds - area where the plants will be grown
- Growing media - gravel, clay pellets, coir, etc.
- Hardware components - other parts include pipes, taps, channels, plant pots, etc.
- Water heaters - or coolers -depending on climate.
Why Use Hydroponics at Home
Some people simply love the technology, others like the potential to grow more plants for longer periods of the year, and in smaller spaces.
For people with limited mobility (eg. disabled or elderly); hydroponics can allow them to grow without digging or heavy work that might be associated with other forms of gardening.
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E-BOOK RELEASE on HYDROPONICS by our Principal
Respected Australian horticulturist and author of more than 100 horticulture books, John Mason, is calling on the horticulture, landscaping, gardening and nursery industries to embrace the new E-books revolution.
As a recently-appointed Fellow of the Australian Institute of Horticulture and long-time Fellow of the UK's Institute of Horticulture, Mr Mason is well aware of the necessity for industry members to have reliable, up-to-date research and information at their fingertips to stay one step ahead.
So Mr Mason has begun releasing new editions of a selection of his most popular and best-selling books as E-book versions, all completely revised and updated and all readily accessible in a PDF format for Mac and Windows, iPad, Kindle and similar readers.
Each E-book is being released through a new online E-book store affiliated with Mr Mason's long-running ACS Distance Education school, which was established 31 years ago as the Australian Correspondence Schools and has grown to an online learning institution offering more than 400 courses to thousands of students enrolled from around the globe.
The new E-books are available at the new online ACS E-bookshop is at http://www.acsebook.com/ which is linked in with ACS Distance Education's UK office, or via the ACS online bookshop at www.acsbookshop.com .
The first of four new E-books just released is the third edition of Commercial Hydroponics by John Mason, featuring 146 pages of invaluable information, advice, full colour photographs and a bonus directory of suppliers, priced at $AU29.95.
Commercial Hydroponics is packed with information on how to grow different types of vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, herbs and other plants, and brand new chapters on growing an additional 16 new plants including okra, water chestnuts, cherries, citrus gypsophila and lisianthus.
“In this new edition, emphasis is placed on plants that are commercially viable and the variety of ways to manage and improve crop profitability, ensuring this E-book well worth a look for those serious about their future in hydroponics,” says Mr Mason.
“Plus for anyone unsure of the quality and convenience of using an E-book, we have arranged for a free sample download to be available so everyone can see the fantastic quality of the product and experience just how easy it really is to use,” said Mr Mason.
Other E-books newly available at the ACS Online Bookstore include Growing Trees and Shrubs for Small Gardens ($AU19.95) by John Mason, Trees and Shrubs for Warm Places (AU$34.95) by John Mason, and Profitable Farming ($AU19.95) by John Mason, with many more new titles becoming available soon.
A renowned educator, Mr Mason is also a member the International Herb Association, International Society for Horticultural Science, International Plant Propagators Society, Australian Nursery Industry Association, Horticulture Media Association (Australia and UK), Australasian Plant Pathology Society, Royal Horticultural Society, is a Foundation Member and Fellow of Parks and Leisure Australia and holds a 23-year membership with the Australian Society of Authors Limited.